September 28, 2022

Hun Girls’ Tennis Finishes 9th at MCT As Senior Francis Returns to 1st Singles Final

ENCORE PERFORMANCE: Hun School girls’ tennis player Amanda Francis displays her form last week at the Mercer County Tournament. Senior star Francis advanced to the first singles final at the MCT for the second straight year, helping Hun take ninth in the team standings. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Amanda Francis had her game going as she started play for the Hun School girls’ tennis team in the final day of the Mercer County Tournament last Wednesday at the Mercer County Park tennis complex.

Looking for her second straight trip to the MCT first singles final, Hun senior star Francis topped Praslin Hayes of the Pennington School 6-4, 7-5 in a grueling semifinal match.

“Amanda is such a strong player, she has great intuition for tennis,” said Hun assistant coach Neal Spadafora. “During her semifinals match, which was a battle, it seemed like each point was won after 15 hits. She is very determined.”

But things ended on a down note for the gritty Francis as she retired after losing the first set 6-2 to Lawrenceville’s Aarushi Attray in the final.

“She was feeling unwell, she played as hard as she could,” said Spadafora, whose team ended up finishing ninth in the team standings of the event won by WW/P-South.

Another Hun senior, Sabrina Wang, made it to the semis, advancing at third singles, where she fell 6-1, 6-1 to Courtney Cane of Peddie. Wang went on to lose to WW/P-South’s Alyssa Yang in the third-place match.

“Sabrina played against another strong player and lost in two sets,” said Spadafora, referring to the third-place match. “She is playing well, her serve is very powerful. She is just a very well-rounded player. This was a good tournament for her, and it showed how she has developed as a player.”

Competing in the county tournament helped the Raiders players gauge their early season progress.

“We have a very good idea of where everyone is at,” said Spadafora. “We are able to now anticipate how the rest of the season is going to go and develop and know what we need to work on. I think we have great team chemistry. Everyone’s spirit is lifted and very encouraging of one another which goes a long way.”

Looking ahead to Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) action and the state Prep A tournament, Spadafora is encouraged about the squad’s prospects, both over the short-term and in the future.

“I think we will have a great season; we have a strong team this year,” said Spadafora. “We have a lot of depth. We have a lot of younger players too in the program who are going to develop nicely.”